Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Do we choose to not be HAPPY?

As we explore the ways we hinder ourselves from reaching our financial goals we've hit on some touchy subjects for some.  But the road to your financial independence, retirement, and home buying dreams is not always easy.  As the old saying goes "If it was easy everyone would be doing it." It takes a thing called sacrifice.  Which for some is much harder than it is for others. The feeling of sacrifice can make you feel as if your missing out, anxious, and generally unhappy. The reality of it though is those feelings are temporary and fleeting.  The feeling of being secure in your finances is much more powerful and longer lasting than the temporary feeling from attending a cool event, designer clothes, or having the latest gadget.

Understanding why you feel these thoughts in the first place can be key.  Have you been spending money on different unnecessary purchases to fill a void of happiness?  Does making the purchase keep you cheerful?  You can easily say that it does in the ensuing days and weeks. But what about a few months later?A year? Odds are you've made some purchases you thought would make you happy for whatever reason, but in the end it didn't. We don't yearn for the new car just to get us to work faster. Or a big house to throw family gatherings and provide ample space for kids. When people have been through a rough situation you often hear of them going to treat themselves with "shopping" or "mall" therapy. But will the cool new necklace, shirt, or Ipad replace the feeling of hurt you still feel months later?

We buy these things because we believe they will make us happy at a later time. That's all it amounts to in the end is that simple yet powerful feeling. You are trying to buy that general well being you feel from going out or having new stuff. I get giddy myself when I buy something new. It's just human nature. But what is actually making you feel happy? It's most likely the relationships you've created with those around you while out in your new clothes, car, and big house.  It's not because you're in the newest restaurant with your sparkly new car you valeted. So ask yourself would feel the same surrounded by a less nice car, smaller house, and less expensive clothing if you could share it with the same people who made you happy? My guess is you probably would. Obviously not everyone can be blessed with a great family life, or strong group of friends free from moral/legal issues. But we all have choices in life. We can choose to seek out those who are hardworking, smart, honest, humble, and thoughtful. Chances are people like that will be accepting of you if you show them you're dedicated to the same goals too no matter what your background was.

The same goes with our finances. We can choose to fore go different things in life while continuing to save tons of money all the while investing to reach our goals at a faster rate. Because in the end money can buy you freedom. This will allow you to focus more on the things that actually contribute to your overall well being. Sacrificing now means you can invest your money helping you earn even more money.  Eventually all the saving and investing have gone on to create a gusher of cash. That gusher of cash can allow you to volunteer for the rest of your life to causes you feel are worthy. It can allow you to pursue your dreams of opening a business with eco-friendly values committed to helping the environment. It affords you the opportunity to spend time with those you do cherish instead of having to sit at a desk for 10 hours plus two hours of enraging traffic en-route.

These are just some of the options available to all of us. In the end it all comes down to the choices we make for ourselves that allow us to follow the happier path.

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